Health & Safety

April 26, 2013

Army deaths spur successful campaign against supplements

WASHINGTON – A “David-and-Goliath” scenario, an Army installation commander standing up to a multi-billion-dollar industry over the deaths of three of his Soldiers, has borne fruit in a national Food and Drug Administration warning and the drug maker’s decision to stop production of a controversial dietary supplement.

Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, commander of Fort Bliss, Texas, and the 1st Armored Division, lauded USPlabs’s announcement that it would stop production of Jack3d.

The supplement contains dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, a stimulant popular among bodybuilders and dieters that the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, last week linked to elevated blood pressure and heart attacks.

Pittard’s crusade against the supplement began in 2011, when two Fort Bliss Soldiers, Pfc. Michael Sparling and Sgt. Demekia Cola, died of heart failure during physical training. Their autopsies reviewed that DMAA use was a contributing factor in their deaths.

In July 2012, another Fort Bliss Soldier, Pfc. David Artis, died of heart stroke during physical fitness training. His death also was linked to DMAA use.

Pittard, who instituted a campaign to reduce suicides and other preventable deaths on arrival at Fort Bliss, immediately demanded that products containing DMAA be removed from the shelves of a commercial vitamin store outlet on the post. It was an unpopular move, he told reporters today, raising the ire of the Fort Bliss community, questions from some Army leaders, and criticism from manufacturers of supplemental products.

“But regardless, we stood firm in the face of that criticism,” Pittard said. “We felt it was the right thing to do for our Soldiers.”

The pushback, he said, actually strengthened the resolve at Fort Bliss to take the fight beyond the installation’s gates. Partnering with the Consortium for Health and Military Performance and the Pentagon’s Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Pittard and his staff set their eye on eradicating DMAA products across not only the Army, but also the entire Defense Department.

This unified campaign spurred the Army to ban supplements containing DMAA from all installations in March 2012. Four months later, the Defense Department followed suit, banning them from all U.S. installations. In the next promising development, the FDA issued an advisory last week warning consumers not to buy dietary supplements containing DMAA.

But the biggest victory, Pittard said, was the decision by USPlabs, the manufacturer of Jack3d, to stop using DMAA in its products.

“Yesterday’s action by USPlabs really in many ways vindicates those on Fort Bliss who fought so hard and fought the supplement and billion-dollar drug industry on this issue,” he said.

Pittard expressed thanks to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Army and DOD leadership for supporting the effort. He acknowledged that it took courage to collectively stand up to powerful drug companies and others who resisted their efforts.

“And we believe this will save countless lives in the future,” he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Annual Installation Awards Banquet honors top personnel

Natalie Lakosil From left, Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca stands with Fort Huachuca’s 2014 winners: Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, Sgt. Brya...
 
 

2015 Army Emergency Relief Annual Campaign

Since its founding during World War ll, Army Emergency Relief (AER) has provided $1.7 billion in interest-free loans and grants to 3.6 million Soldiers in the active component, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and among the ranks of the retired. AER financial assistance provides timely care and support to Wounded Warriors, Surviving Spouses...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Uncasing ceremony formally welcomes 40th ESB Soldiers home

Stephanie Caffall 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. John Reinburg, left, and Battalion Commander Lt. Col. David Thomas begin the uncasing of the battalion colors. The colors signify the homecoming of the 40t...
 

 
Courtesy of André Douglas

Civilian Expeditionary Workforce offers unique development opportunity to IMCOM employee

Courtesy of André Douglas The Bagram Air Base installation management team — made up of active duty Service members, civilian employees and contractors — pauses for a commemorative photo. SAN ANTONIO — Joining the Civili...
 
 

FH schools to celebrate National Bike to School Day March 06

Students from Colonel Johnston, General Myer and Colonel Smith Middle Schools will be riding or walking to school on March 6 along with parents, teachers and community leaders. The event will begin from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with youth, parents and community leaders riding or walking from parking lot locations listed below or from home....
 
 

CWFC designed to improve employee morale

There’s an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca federal Civilian employees during and outside of duty hours. The Civilian Welfare Fund Council, or CWFC, Fort Huachuca, is a Category IV Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentality with proceeds from concessionaire commissions. Its purpose is to manage the Civilian Welfare Funds, or...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin